Why Flossing Your Teeth Every Day is So Important

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Man holding dental floss

Flossing your teeth every day is one of the most important parts of maintaining good oral health and hygiene. While brushing removes plaque and debris from the surface of your teeth, flossing gets between your teeth and under your gums to remove plaque and food particles that your toothbrush simply can’t reach.

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Here’s a closer look at why making flossing a daily habit is so crucial for your dental health.

Prevent Tooth Decay

Plaque that is allowed to remain between teeth and under the gumline can lead to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Plaque harbours bacteria, which release acids that can cause cavities and damage tooth enamel.

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The longer plaque remains on teeth, the greater the risk for dental problems. Flossing daily dislodges plaque and reduces bacteria before they have a chance to cause harm.

Keep Gums Healthy

Gum disease begins with gingivitis, which occurs when inflammation and irritation develop in the gums from plaque buildup. In the early stages, gums may appear slightly red or swollen and bleed easily when flossing or brushing. If gingivitis is not treated with daily flossing and proper oral hygiene, it can advance to periodontitis.

Flossing is the most effective way to clean between teeth and disrupt plaque before it turns into tartar and causes gum disease, which a dentist Corbridge would need to treat.

Why is Gum Disease Dangerous?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can lead to serious health complications if left untreated.

The early stage, gingivitis, occurs when plaque builds up along and under the gumline, causing the gums to become inflamed and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is reversible with good oral hygiene. However, if gingivitis persists, it can advance to periodontitis, which damages the tissue and bone supporting the teeth.

As the disease progresses, teeth may loosen or even fall out. More worryingly, emerging research links periodontal disease to increased systemic inflammation, which can raise the risk of major conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes complications, and poor pregnancy outcomes.

One study found people with gum disease were twice as likely to suffer blockages in leg arteries as those with healthy gums. So, while gum disease starts quietly with red, swollen gums, it seems this oral infection can trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body and contribute to catastrophic health problems. That makes it critical to prevent and treat early-stage gum disease promptly.

Visiting a dentist regularly allows early detection and monitoring so you can keep your gums, and the rest of your body, healthy.

Prevent Bad Breath

Bad breath, also called halitosis, is most often caused by the breakdown of food particles and bacteria in the mouth. Flossing removes debris in places your toothbrush can’t reach, reducing odour-causing bacteria between teeth and around the gumline. String floss is very effective, but water flossers and interdental brushes can also help target bad breath-causing bacteria.

Brighten Your Smile

A brighter, whiter smile can give you greater confidence. Stains and yellowing between teeth can make them appear dingy and darkened. Flossing helps remove stains and tartar that brushing alone can miss. It cleans away discolouring food debris and plaque. Using a whitening floss can further help to polish and shine teeth.

Avoid Gum Recession

Over time, poor oral hygiene can cause gums to recede or pull away from teeth, exposing vulnerable tooth roots. This gum recession is often caused by tartar below the gumline irritating the gums. Vigilant flossing removes plaque and tartar before they can cause inflammation and receding gums.

Protect Dental Work

Crowns, fillings, implants and other dental work are more susceptible to problems when plaque is allowed to build up. Meticulous oral hygiene is required to make sure areas around dental work stay clean and plaque-free. Thorough flossing is critical for cleaning gaps and edges that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush alone.

How to Floss Teeth Correctly

Start with about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around each middle finger, leaving 2-3 inches of floss to work with. Gently guide the floss between two teeth using a seesawing motion, being careful not to snap the floss down onto the gums.

Curve the floss into a C-shape against the side of one tooth and carefully slide it under the gumline. Repeat on the adjacent tooth’s side. Gently scrub the sides of both teeth with the floss then remove it. Repeat this process as you work your way around all teeth, using clean sections of floss for each new gap.

Flossing just once a day for two or three minutes is a simple practice with immense oral and whole-body health benefits. Along with brushing twice a day and seeing your dentist regularly, daily flossing is perhaps the best thing you can do to safeguard your smile and prevent dental problems down the road.

Making flossing an essential part of your oral care routine protects your teeth and gums now and for years to come.